Oscar Niemeyer rejected the square box. Instead, he honoured the curves of nature and the human body in his buildings in Brazil, France, Italy and the U.S. Here’s a blossom in his memory…dropped from the massive Hibiscus in front of Niemeyer’s studio in Rio overlooking Copacabana Beach.
Lifting off: Niemeyer’s joyous curves at Maison de la culture du Havre, France. P. Michel Moch
Headquarters of the Communist Party, Paris, France. Niemeyer was a life-long Communist who apparently waived his design fees to create this building with its sci-fi, ethereal interiors.
Inside the rain forest outside of Rio, Niemeyer’s house (1953) is part shelter, part sensuous sculpture.
At poolside, a sculpture by Alfredo Ceschiatti. The female form inspired Niemeyer throughout his life. Obviously! When Frank Gehry visited him at his studio in Rio, Niemeyer showed him a series of pictures on his desk of beautiful women on the Rio beach…”one of her back, the next one of her stomach, the next one of her back, the next one on her stomach.”
What every home should have: Bookshelves rolling around a curved wall.
Niemeyer and I in his house…sadly, I had to leave Rio before his secretary returned my email confirming our meeting. Goodbye Oscar. Boa Noite.
I’ve been collecting mid-century modern chairs for about a decade…leather butterfly chairs, Harry Bertoia’s Diamond Chair, Danish teak, Canadian Solair chairs, Le Corbusier’s chaise longue, the Eiffel chair by Charles Eames and plenty of molded plywood chairs found in trashed condition on sidewalks.
For Mother’s Day, the kids and friends hauled some of the chairs outside to get some much deserved sunshine.
And to let loose with a game of musical chairs.
For the music, I was singing a random song, loudly.
The competition was fierce. The chairs disappeared.
In the end, it was a battle between the Solair chair (1972) and the Diamond (1958).
The Diamond won. So did the dazzling joy of the day.